Singing Simpkin and Other Bawdy Jigs

Musical Comedy on the Shakespearean Stage: Scripts, Music and Context

Roger Clegg and Lucie Skeaping

Roger Clegg and Lucie Skeaping

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

352 pages | 15 halftones | 7 x 9 4/5
Paper $55.00 ISBN: 9780859898782 Published March 2014 For sale in North and South America only
A popular crowd pleaser from the late sixteenth to the mid-seventeenth century, the dramatic jig was a short, comic, bawdy musical-drama that included elements of dance, slapstick, and disguise. For the first time in four hundred years, the lyrics and music notation for nine jigs from this period are presented, as well as an appendix for dance instruction. With Singing Simpkin and Other Bawdy Jigs,the authors provide a comprehensive account of a genre that was highly popular in its day, and demonstrates the influence of jigs on other forms of theater in Shakespearean England.   
Stanley Wells | Times Literary Supplement
“A thoroughly researched and densely documented volume.”
"Singing Simpkin will be valued by musicologists, theatre or performance historians, seekers after the aesthetics of Shakespearean drama, cultural historians, and many others including (hopefully) current-day theatrical practitioners aiming to re-animate historical modes of playing."
Neil Rhodes | Scottish Journal of Performance
"Roger Clegg and Lucie Skeaping’s wonderful collection of nine English jigs . . . is an exemplary exercise in collaboration. . . . This is an excellent piece of research and a valuable resource."
Jeremy Barlow, author of A Dance Through Time
Singing Simpkin combines scholarly analysis with performer-friendly versions of nine stage jigs from Shakespeare’s time to the Restoration. The book presents and appraises textual and musical evidence relating to the stage jig with exemplary thoroughness; the detail enhances our knowledge of stage performance generally during that period. Much more than a historical survey, the book acts as a manual for recreating performances of the nine jig texts it contains, in terms of dramatic staging, music, and dance. It will be an exciting publication for all theatre historians of the period.”
List of illustrations
Abbreviations and referencing conventions
A history of the dramatic jig
The scripts and tunes:
          Wooing of Nan
          Rowland’s God Son
          Singing Simpkin
          Francis’ New Jig
          The Black Man
          The Jig of St. Denys’ Ghost
          The Libel of Michael Steel
          Fools Fortune
          The Cheaters Cheated
Staging the jigs
Appendix: Dance instruction
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